The much-maligned Dash button from Amazon is being killed off for good. Having previously announced that they were being discontinued, Amazon has announced that as of the end of this month, it will no longer be possible to place orders via a physical Dash button.
This does not mean that the Dash ordering service is ceasing completely -- it will continue to exist in the form of virtual Dash button that can be accessed from a range of devices.
Without naming any names, the Department of Justice has announced today that its Antitrust Division is to launch an investigation into the practices of "market-leading online platforms".
The probe comes amid concerns that the big names in technology are "engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers". While the DoJ has not officially named any of the companies it is planning to look into as part of its investigation, the likes of Facebook, Google (or Alphabet) and Amazon are likely to feature prominently.
In an age where people want -- even expect -- everything for free, particularly online, the price we pay for using various services is our privacy. Social networks are obvious collectors of personal data, but it doesn't end there... and who really knows what information has been collected about them over the years?
This is what F-Secure hopes to cast a light on with its new Data Discovery Portal which aims to "expose the true cost of using some of the web's most popular free services". It covers Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Snapchat and Twitter.
A few months back, we shared with you some very, very good news -- Amazon and Google were burying the hatchet. You see, the two giant companies were at odds, keeping their respective video apps from each other's hardware platforms. Then in April, the two companies announced that the feud was over -- YouTube was coming back to Amazon Fire TV, while Prime Video would come to Chromecast.
Wow! Great news, right? Well, yes and no. While it was undoubtedly positive, it was not immediate -- consumers would have to wait months for this to happen, sadly. Well, folks, today it finally becomes a reality!
You'd think there was a clue in the name when it comes to determining how long Amazon's annual Prime Day lasts. But no. Not content with having stretched out the event for a day and a half last year, this time around Prime Day is actually two days long.
This means that you'll have a massive 48 hours to bathe in naked consumerism -- and hopefully bag yourself a bargain or two along the way. Amazon has already shared details of some of the deals you can expect to see on July 15 and 16.
If you want an e-reader, you should buy a Kindle -- plain and simple. Are there other e-ink devices on the market? Yes, but none compare to Amazon's overall book shopping and reading experiences. While you can read on an Android tablet or iPad -- including Amazon's Kindle service -- you really shouldn't. E-ink screens are far better for your eyes.
Today, Amazon unveils the all-new Kindle Oasis -- this is a refresh of the previous generation. If you aren't familiar, Oasis is the company's top-of-the-line e-reader. This model still has has a beautiful 7-inch display, but now, it also gets the ability to adjust the light termperature. In other words, you can opt for a warmer light for a better experience when reading at night. It is very durable too, retaining the same IPX8 waterproof rating as the previous generation.
Earlier this month, Google announced the Nest Hub Max -- voice assistant hardware with a camera and touch screen -- and I was instantly intrigued. At the same time, I was also very scared of it. After all, Google makes its money through tracking users' activity and by displaying advertising -- did I really want that company having a camera in my house? No, of course not. Despite the claims of hardware switches to disable the camera, I quickly made up my mind to not buy it when it goes on sale.
Amazon has a similar device called Echo Show, and today it announces an additional model. Called "Echo Show 5," it has a smaller screen (5.5 inch) and even smaller price tag. It is an adorably small Alexa device with an HD camera. Unlike the round Echo Spot, Echo Show 5 has a more useful rectangular screen. As someone who owns many Echo devices, and trusts Amazon a bit more than Google, I think I might invite Echo Show 5 into my house. I wouldn't want the camera watching my family 24/7, so thankfully I can take control of my privacy by sliding the included shutter over the lens -- an old-school (yet effective) means of blocking a camera.
Amazon's e-ink Kindle-reader devices, Fire tablets, and the associated e-book service are wildly popular. Competitor devices, such as the Nook from Barnes and Noble, simply don't compare. Is it worrying that Amazon essentially has a stranglehold on the digital book market? I suppose, but look, no other company has truly put up a worthy alternative. Even Apple's Books service, while decent, doesn't have an e-ink reader -- reading on an iPad is not ideal.
Sadly, Traditional Chinese readers were not able to properly take advantage of Amazon's Kindle. Thankfully, this has now changed. Yes, Amazon has brought support for Traditional Chinese books to Kindle!
For the most part, Android tablets have proven to be a massive failure. What looked like a promising market has devolved into a collection of low-quality tablets from no-name manufacturers. Sure, companies like Huawei and Samsung are still producing solid Android tablets, but consumers largely don't care. If it isn't an iPad, the tablet won't get much attention.
There is one big exception to this, however -- Amazon Fire. Yes, the book-seller's affordable media consumption tablets -- which do run a variation of Android -- are extremely popular with consumers. Despite not having access to Google's Play Store, Fire tablets are very affordable while providing a quality media experience. Not to mention, you get access to the Alexa voice assistant. Today, Amazon refreshes the 7-inch Fire 7 tablet with improved specifications, such as providing double the storage capacity and a beefier processor. Believe it or not, despite better hardware, it still retains its sub-$50 starting price tag.
One of the best investments you can make for your home is an internet connected camera. Even if you don’t feel comfortable having them indoors, outdoor variants can be essential for protecting your house. Whether you are home or away, it is nice to know you can always pull out your phone and monitor the perimeter of your property.
Today, Amazon announces the second generation Blink XT camera, which is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. Called “Blink XT2,” it is very affordable, starting at less than $100. Believe it or not, the budget friendly camera features 1080p video, motion detection, and night vision. Best of all, cloud storage is gratis (no monthly fee), making it an extremely inexpensive way to get started with a smart security camera.
Amazon Fire TV provides a really great media consumption experience. And yet, I do not use it. Why? Well, I am a huge YouTube user -- both the regular video service, plus YouTube TV, and unfortunately, Google kept those services off of Amazon's TV hardware. In a bit of "tit for tat," Amazon kept its own Prime Video from Google's Android TV and Chromecast devices. Ultimately, this hostility hurt consumers, which is very unfortunate.
Today, Google and Amazon finally bury the hatchet. YouTube apps are coming to Fire TV, while Prime Video is coming to both Android TV and Chromecast. Even Google's YouTube Kids app will be coming to Amazon's hardware!
As companies store ever larger amounts of data, the current solutions and services available to handle it become more and more costly and difficult to manage.
To address these challenges, Boston-based CHAOSSEARCH is launching a new platform that delivers rapid search and analytics through a managed service, based on simple, elastic storage.
Amazon has announced its new entry-level Kindle, introducing a couple of changes. While the price remains below $100, there has been a $10 hike, taking the price up to $89.99.
This extra $10 buys you an e-reader with only one notable change -- a new adjustable front light to allow for reading in the dark.
Philips monitors often provide an excellent value -- great "bang for your buck," as they say. The company's displays typically provide superb visual quality, while also offering good features, and attractive designs.
Today, the company launches a trio new monitors as part of its "E9 series." All three displays are curved with slim bezels, which is great, but two of them (the 27-inch 278E9QJAB and the 32-inch 328E9QJAB) are only 1080p. That resolution is passable for a 22-inch or 24-inch monitor, for example, but 27-inch and higher? Not ideal. Look, for gaming or watching movies, 1080p might be OK with those screen sizes, but text may be too blurry for general computer use. Thankfully, the 32-inch 328E9FJAB offers a much better 2560 x 1440 resolution -- that is the model you want to focus on, y'all.
Plugable is a company that I respect very much. I have been buying its products for many years from Amazon. Historically, its offerings have been reliable, affordable, and extremely useful. Whether it be USB hubs, dongles, adapters, or docking stations, you can typically rely on receiving a quality product. I'm sure many computer nerds like myself have purchased a Plugable product at some point in their lifetime.
Today, Plugable announces a new product that falls outside its usual focus -- a gaming headset. Called "HS53 Performance Onyx Gaming Headset," the over-ear headset has a brushed aluminum frame and features a beautiful textured black design. Despite the use of memory foam for both the headband and sealed earcups, the company claims your ears and head should both remain cool -- not hot and sweaty.